Did Bruce Arians Smell This Coming?

October 24th, 2022

This is a helluva interesting point made by a widely respected NFL scribe. But scratching the surface a little, Joe thinks it is nonsense.

This is really good sports radio fodder, but it simply does not pass the smell test.

Mike Sando over at The Athletic wonders aloud if former Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians smelled the NFL’s Hindenburg beginning to smolder and got out while the getting was good.

As we all remember, shortly after the Bucs lured Tom Brady back out of retirement, Arians shocked the world by retiring himself. He said he wanted to set up his long-time friend Todd Bowles with a good quarterback so Bowles (in so many words) didn’t have a repeat of his four years with the Jets where he had trash for quarterbacks and lost his job.

Sando suggests maybe there was more to Arians’ resignation — that Arians could see the Bucs imploding and didn’t want to go down with a sinking blimp.

Bruce Arians might have the right feel for timing. He might also be an excellent head coach. Both things could be true. He went 8-8 in his final season with Arizona. The Cardinals then went 3-13 the following season. He went 13-4 with Tampa Bay last season. The Bucs are 3-4 now and sinking fast.

This is a stretch for Joe and Joe cannot buy this premise.

So to accept the notion, Joe would have to buy that Arians knew full well he might Pearl Harbor Bowles’ days, and those of another friend, Byron Leftwich. That’s borderline preposterous.

And if Arians allegedly saw this coming, you have to figure so too did Bowles as his defense faced the Bucs’ offense daily for the past three seasons. Why would Bowles take a gig with a team on the verge of a historic crash and burn?

So as much as Joe likes and respects Sando, this just doesn’t hold water. It would be good for sports radio, as after a while, even the most dedicated of hosts can’t keep screaming about Leftwich, even if the guy earned every ounce of the heat he gets.

There is only so much Advil one can take without acid reflux.

42 Responses to “Did Bruce Arians Smell This Coming?”

  1. Jack Sparrow Says:

    We can complain, yell, scream and cry about Bowles and Leftwich to be fired. The Glazers hands are tied behind their back. They will not fire both as the media mob will blast them for months for being a R****t. They are afraid to be sued…. just look at Brian Flores….. another incompetent coach fired and sued the dolphins for the R word and the media backed him up.

  2. Beej Says:

    I don’t see it–would this be happening absent losing Jensen and Stinnie?

  3. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    It was a miracle that Tom Brady covered up for the GM and coaches for the last two years!

  4. Jack Sparrow Says:

    ALso, Arians does not want to be the coach that fired Bowles and LEftwich, so, he decided to sit on a high chair and let the Glazers take the heat

  5. chris l Says:

    This team has lacked passion ever since the saints game? that was a physical game where we outmuscled them and beat them down. havent seen that same passion since. it is almost as if they got rid of the saints hex but then cant beat other teams now. a reverse curse.

  6. Howard Cosell Says:

    <blockquote.“Did Bruce Arians Smell This Coming?”</blockquote.


  7. Howard Cosell Says:

    “Did Bruce Arians Smell This Coming?”</blockquote.


  8. Cobraboy Says:

    Arians fault is overselling “his guys” to the Glazers.

    “His Guys” have no heart, head, or leadership.

    Especially Leftwich.

  9. Howard Cosell Says:

    <blockquote.“Did Bruce Arians Smell This Coming?”


  10. Howard Cosell Says:


  11. SB~LV Says:

    Yo Joe!
    Refresh our memory
    What was the chronological order and timeline of BA and TB retiring and un retiring
    Time to bust out the back story too
    This is the most bizarre chapter in Buccaneer history and it has had some really strange chapters

  12. NYbucsfan Says:

    @ Joe,

    I don’t think BA did, but we should have. You talked about handing the key over to Trask and how the team has too much talent to do that, but we handed the keys over to a few coaches that keep getting passed over for head coaching jobs. It is a lot clear now why that keeps happening. The team had too much talent to do that.

  13. Lakeland Says:

    The BUCS suck, look at their roster. They are old, tired and slow.

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    If Arians knew, he wouldn’t still be with the Buccaneers.

  15. beano Says:

    Trask QB RTGs in 2 preseason games (behind garbage offensive lines):


    It’s Trask Time.

  16. beano Says:

    “NYbucsfan Says:
    @ Joe,

    I don’t think BA did, but we should have. You talked about handing the key over to Trask and how the team has too much talent to do that”

    Joe hates Trask. Joe hated the pick so he can’t afford to see Trask succeed.

  17. Faspro Says:

    Jack Sparrow, exactly…that’s the reality, we’re stuck with these clowns because of the wokeness that has infiltrated the NFL in recent years.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Another possible explanation Joe is that BA could see that this team would have to undergo significant changes (which we are) and felt that Todd Bowles would be able to deal with it much better than he could. So he decided to pass the baton. I don’t think that BA would be doing all that much better than Bowles is doing. Last thing that he wanted was to take over play calling.

  19. Bobby M. Says:

    We lost Gronk, Marpet and Jensen before the season started….you lose THREE all pro players up front, very tough to mask that. I think getting Jensen back and shifting Hainsey over will be a huge improvement. Same for getting Hicks back on the d-line. I think Bowles defense has been ok for what they were built to be which is an attacking defense when the team gets ahead. They aren’t built to shut down anyone for entire games. We lack a true cover CB…we’re lite in the pants at DEs…the unit is built to be aggressive and fast in obvious passing scenarios. Really and truly the offense’s failures are the problem and it’s fairly easy to see Leftwich has no scheming ability to mask our weaknesses up front. You can expect the Ravens to do the exact same strategy that has worked the last three weeks. Attack Brady up the middle and run directly at this defense. By 4th qtr we’ll be exhausted if offense is sputtering

  20. bucs4life Says:

    It seems like “beano” is not aware of how football works. Preseason games don’t feature first string front sevens. You know, 6-3 ft 265 lbs DE/LB guys that can run 4.4s in the combine. Or worse yet, 6-3 ft 300 lbs DLs that can run 4.8s in a 40-yd dash. Those pros carry years of technique and get handsomely paid for a reason. And the reason is that if they face scrubs like Goedeke or Hainsey, they will get thrown around like potato sacks. That’s why the NFL is the NFL and College is College. Anyone can have a 100 RTG game in the preseason behind whatever makeshift O line there is because star players from first string front sevens do not play.

  21. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Darn. Arians isn’t the coach, yet you guys are still on his case. I understand that when you’re upset you may want to lash out at anyone, but to blame Arians for this poop show is ridiculous. I’m not saying he doesn’t have influence to a certain degree, but he’s neither GM or owner.

  22. bucs4life Says:

    Sando’s theory is preposterous. Bucs crumble because our trenches are weak. We have a subpar DL and atrocious inside OL. The minute we lost Suh and Marpet he should have picked up the phone. We also lost Cappa and Jensen. How do you let a QB with that OL? You guys remember how Spagnuolo beat Brady in 07? Fire blitz, inside pressure. The essence of football is lineplay. If your line holds water, your QB has time to read progressions and make plays If your line move people, the running game flows naturally. If the running game is good, play fakes are on the menu. If your D line contains the run, your opponent becomes predictable. If your D line gets to the QB, your opponents drives stall.

  23. bucs4life Says:

    When Arians left, we still had everyone in the team. Bowled and Leftwing are surely doing a very bad job at playing to our strengths. Just compare the Rhule Panthers with yesterday’s Panthers. It seems like those are two very different teams. Schemes and designs are different, team attitude is different, execution is different. We lost key contributors, yes, but our coaches are doing a bad job and that’s it. If we had James throwing 15 INTs, it would have been far worse.

  24. Craig Says:

    I think Ariens was shocked by how well he did in his first two seasons and knew it couldn’t last.

    He tried to do a favor for a friend, but it backfired.

    It is time for a major shift. This season is toast, so benching Brady might be the move.

    This was always a transition year, as Bowles was bound and determined to make a defensive team out of the Bucs. He tried too hard and broke it; can’t fix it without taking some things apart.

  25. bucnjim Says:

    Arians was way more aggressive in his game planning and his in game adjustments. Bowles has a different philosophy and it is showing up on the field. My blame is going straight to the coaches installing the Offensive game plan for the week. Whether you have injuries or not is no excuse to lose to last place teams especially in the division.

  26. BuxfaninTX Says:

    Message to Todd Bowles-

    Byron Leftwich helped Steve Wilkes get fired at AZ..just by by being his OC…..

  27. bucnjim Says:

    Also wasn’t Arians kicked off the sideline? Seems like our trouble started after that Saints game.

  28. JimbobBucfan Says:

    Bruce Arians as our head coach did a great job. He succeeded in adding Tom Brady as the centerpiece to our Super Bowl run and got us a Lombardi. No small feat!. He has moved “upstairs” to become our franchise vision master.

    BA overestimated the fit for coaches that he mentored, however. So what?

    Go Bucs! Continue this unexpected rebuild year.

  29. miken Says:

    This team would be 5-2 with BA coaching with Blaine Gabbert at qb

  30. matthew veal Says:

    Them that knows ain’t telling. Joe will modify his views in time imo.

    I believe BA knew. But…

    BA may have only been motivated to make things work for Gabbert and clean up the jameis flaw from his resume.

    Todd knew, Leftwich knew. You take the job anyway. They weren’t getting other offers.

  31. Rod Munch Says:

    That’s a really stupid take by the fake news NY Times owned Athletic.

    If Arians was here, the team wouldn’t be 3-4. Period.

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    JimbobBucfan … ‘BA overestimated the fit for coaches that he mentored, however. So what? Go Bucs! Continue this unexpected rebuild year.’

    Two fascinating observations there Jimbo, and I think you’re right on both. Bowles did a very good job as out DC, improving us from a #29 defense in 2019 to #8 in 2020 then #5 in 2021. Developed a number of young players in the process, something that previous DCs hadn’t been able to do. Todd had been a HC before, and I’m sure that BA felt he was ready fo a second chance.

    BL is a whole different story IMO. You could overlook what he did (or didn’t do) in Arizona because it was only a partial year & the offensive talent was marginal. 2019, 2020 & 2021 were all very good seasons in terms of offensive production. But how much of that was due to BL versus BA is a huge question mark in my mind. The ‘red pen’ story is sounding more & more credible looking at our 2022 production.

    Dual-hatting Bowles didn’t do him any favors IMO; that’s a lot to ask of any coach. Saddling him with Leftwich as his OC was the kiss of death, although I’m confident BA didn’t see it as such.

  33. Pewter Power Says:

    How stupid

  34. Your Mom Says:

    That is preposterous. Examine just what pieces were weaker, and it’s basically none. At least none drastic. At that point, Jensen was still going to be playing. You had Evans, Godwin, Julio Jones, Russell Gage, Playoff Lenny, and quite possibly Gronk. The defense had Hicks, Barrett, David, White, Winfield and Davis, etc. Across the board the talent looked almost as good as or better in just about every position (except tight end).

    On paper, this team looked unstoppable. Even the oddsmakers liked the Bucs for the Super Bowl. Even if some of those guys weren’t signed when he retired, he’d have known whom they were targeting and the likelihood of success to get them.

  35. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete - Founder of UniqueModernArt.com Says:

    The Saints Without Sean Payton = The Bucs Without BA.

    Neither team is going anywhere without those 2 Premier HC’s.

    Hopefully I’m wrong about the Bucs, but evidence suggests I’m not.

  36. Goatfarmer Says:

    BA may have set up his two favorite two protégés to fail but not intentionally. This is as stupid as saying Brady is intentionally playing bad to punish Licht for holding him to his contract.

  37. Mike Johnson Says:

    Brady is off. Way off. His throws are over and under. He is not even hitting his outlets. His O line id sporadic at best. The D line is getting gashed in the run dept. And over 75% of the secondary’s starters are missing. Yet, all of this is the coaches fault? Nope. its the players fault. We very well could be 3-5 after Thurs night. The only superbowl these guys are gonna see is with us..sitting on the couch watching another team

  38. PSL Bob Says:

    Pure and simple this is an offensive coaching problem. Every team is struggling with injuries. And, without the personnel on the Bucs’ roster, they’re able to move the ball and score points. The Bucs can’t. If the Bucs lose the next game, which I suspect they will, it then falls on Bowles to fix the problem. And the only way he can fix the problem is to assign one of our assistant offensive coaches to take over play-calling duties until a permanent replacement is found in the off season.

  39. Destinjohnny Says:

    If we don’t blow the hainsey and Luke G and Tyron and Keyshawn Vaughn, Trask and yet another kicker, well at least a punter this time.
    We would be fine

  40. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Defense Rules Says:
    “I don’t think that BA would be doing all that much better than Bowles is doing. Last thing that he wanted was to take over play calling.”

    Actually, at the end of last season, Arians spoke about doing just that.


  41. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Howard Cosell Says:
    October 24th, 2022 at 11:20 am

    You have to close the brackets on both of your commands at the beginning and at the end of your phrase.

    example sentence

  42. Ed Says:

    Brady sure misses Mike Evans on his unbelievable drop. Cannot believe anyone would say Brady missed that throw. It’s not his fault that he doesn’t have any speed in the lineup. AB and even Grayson could take the top off of a defense.

    Clearly they lack a we that can stretch the defense